Raphael Vanderzee

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About Raphael Vanderzee

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  • Birthday 07/31/1989
  1. “Guy can’t catch a break can he?” He murmurs to himself as he looked over his now dry flask. Before him was the barricaded tavern, how the hell was he supposed to spend his money at this rate? His brow raised as he spotted the monk and the Magister carried in his arms. “Oi’, he all right?” "Exhausted but fine." Kirital stepped away from Vathelan. "We need to locate Dora." The Captain heard the request, and looks at the Magister for a moment with a small smirk. “That so?” He shrugged and opened the Com, “Boss-Lady? You out there? I ‘ave someone lookin’ fer yeh.”' “You could show her a bit more respect, Captain.” The Magister wearily glares at the Rogue who simply stares back up at his with his singular eye. "Let's argue over a meal once Dora is found, right?" Magister’s face etched deeper and deeper into his expression. He said nothing; he simply began to Moments pass; there are no words to be heard over the Com. With each passing second, the worry on the exhausted start to tremble. The thought of being in that battle… and for what? “Welp. She ain’t gonna answer.” The Rogue closed the Com. He saw the devastation clear as day on Vathelan’s face. The man went totally pale as he started to hyperventilate at the thoughts. The Rogue looked over to the other half-elf. “Don’t mean she be dead, but, well… ain’t usually a good sign. Take him back ta the room. Not much we can do til daybreak.” "We can go to where the major battle was fought." A pointed look goes to Van, as if chastising the man's lack of tact. "Would you lend us that comm device?" "Or, yeh could head to the Infirmary. If they find her that will be the first place they take her I guarantee it." Vathelan had lost focus on the conversation around him, falling to his knees as he started to have a panic attack. Emotions made things messy. And Magister Frostwhisper was a wreck. He hunched over as he found himself lost in the shock that was giving way to despair. After all the time he waited… it didn’t matter. They had failed. “Though… but look at ‘em.” Captain Van tilted his head towards the Magister who had lost all composure. “Won’t do anyone any good him being seen like this. Best he get some sleep before we start lookin’ any further. I’ll keep an ear out, let yeh know what I find.” With a sigh, Kirital relented. "You have a point." Vathelan hd been through much for this. He needs time to recuperate. "I'll see him back to the room." The stress of the battle begins to catch up to him as well as he rubbed his nose. Kneeling down to Vath, Kirital spoke slowly and clearly. "Vathelan, I am going to take you back to the room." The statement is mostly to test the Magister's coherence as well. The Magister said nothing, requiring getting pulled away to their room, leaving Captain Van alone to his own thoughts as he took out another smoke. Wasn't booze, but it would have to do for now.
  2. The first thing to materialize from the smokescreen beyond the ruins of the gate was the remains of a demolisher as it was flung towards the crowd of defenders. One of the pilots moved to intercept it. Before his rockets could even launch he was caught by the war machine as it plummeted into the ground before blowing as a makeshift bomb, claiming the first of Lazhio’s personal killcount within this battle. “TRUM, NO!” Shouting one of the pilots as he went to avenge his fallen comrade, guns blazing. He too would be a casualty. Even before Captain Van could command him to fall back, an enormous clawed hand swatted the copter from the air. Out of the smoke and ruin a hoofed digitigrade foot crushed any unfortunate to cross his path as it pulled the looming figure into the scene with each determined step. His leathered wings stretched wide and gave one gust of wind that could have shredded the sails off a ship, scattering the copters once more and blanketing the entire port with a momentary blanket of smoke. He could hear explosions of his fleet as they collided with objects, but was unable to get a read on how many still flew. He could hardly see anything. Which made the sight below him all the more alarming. He could swear that the ground seemed to swell and move below him, as if feeding on the terror going on around them. But that sounded crazy, didn’t it? Sure there was that thing that happened down south in Panderia, but here? As the shadows seemed to boil and write, taking shapes of maws and sharpened teeth however, it suddenly didn’t sound as insane as it had a moment earlier. Even worse he could hear the screaming of people being ripped into from whatever the fuck was going on down there. “EVERYONE TO THE COMMAND CENTER! NOW!” Shouted the Orcess over the communicators. The smokescreen began to thin, granting Van a better visual over the battlefield once more. At first the attacks of these sha creatures seemed indiscriminate against retreating defender and surging invader alike. Those who fell to the claws of the sha would have the shadows sink into their flesh, rising another to assault the remaining undead forces of the Demon Hunter. A goliath Demon Hunter of deep lavender skin marred by an assortment of thickened scales and reinforced hide like that of a pit lord. One that would be engulfed within flame from some unknown but significant source of explosives. They had lost their cannon, supplies for the airfleet were running low, their forces were quickly starting to diminish… one could only hope this was the final blow. “Still looking for wounded, Cap!” Reported in Gunheya, much to Van’s relief. “Ground forces, we have bogies that aren’t friendly. Try to head them into each other!” “Good man. Remind me ta get yeh an extra round after we get through this. Mates, stop yer firin’ at them shadow creatures! Let ‘em rip our bigger threat ta shreds. Make another defensive line fer them wounded and keep yer eyes peeled fer big ugly. If that ain’t take care of ‘em, we’ll be ready ta give ‘em a what-for!” As if on queue, the curved-horned monster made his presence known once more as twin beams of fel-infused power shot from the flames. Whatever his gaze touched; his own forces, the defenders that had not yet made it to the temporary safety of the Command Center, Building, Sha. It did not matter. The energies burned and carved their way through it all. And he would continue his march out of the flames that cauterized the wounds of whatever had happened beyond the horizon. All the while the sha creatures fought through the remnants of his army and made their way to him proper-- uncaring if they were lost to the beams or not. “We are almost finished…” The leader of the magical ritual breathed into the comms. “...Keep… him busy… a while… longer...:” “Big Ugly in our sights.” Van’s hand free from the cyclic began to prep his stronger, more limited secondary fire on-board. “We’re ready to give ‘em a taste of rocket fire at yer mark, Boss-lady.” A moment passed, likely ensuring her people were out of the way and secure before she gave confirmation. “Give ‘im everything you got, Captain.” “Aye Aye.” He flipped the final switch. Missiles were primed and ready. He flipped over the com, took a deep breath as he summoned the persona required to inspire and give it their all. “All right mates, this be the moment we’ve all been waitin’ fer! GIVE ‘EM ALL WE GOT!” The barrage from all the remaining skyfleet screamed through the sky. It was a pretty sight, watching the fireworks all blow in rapid succession against their prime target. He laughed as they lit up the sky. When the sound died down he would give his next set of orders. “Now then, we ain’t done jes yet. Harass ‘em like sailors on a wench in port! Bu’ don’ be rude now, don’cha dare forget ta tip!” His dread march had lead the Demon Hunter, with his grand strides, to the doorstep of the Command Center. His forearm raised to guard his face from the worst of the volley, halting him in his tracks for nothing more than a few moments. When the strike ended, when the fleet had expended all its resources he finally dropped the guard from his face. It seemed his attention remained solely upon where he could sense the ritual was taking place, his mouth open as he drew in air… “All range units, aim Light infused artillery towards the mouth!” Everyone who had any range capabilities complied with this order, trying in vain to halt his next decisive strike. Both Captain and Gunheya seemed to come to the same conclusion, as while Van started prepping all his personal explosives the courageous orc was once again quicker on the draw. “Ah HELL! I’LL PAY FOR IT LATER!” The Copter aimed directly for the mouth, likely clamping the cyclic stick before ejecting mere yards away from the monster. But Van doubted this would be enough. “This is Captain Van speakin’. Not expectin’ any of yeh ta fallow our leads, but I’ve fired me last round ‘ere and we need ta delay that… thing as best we can.” The Captain positioned his Copter to make the same run, he double checked that all his explosives were primed and cooking. “Been a pleasure workin’ wit’ yeh mates. If we make it outta ‘ere alive, meet me at tha’ good ol’ tavern. Got some o’ tha’ Magister’s money burnin’ a hole in me pockets. Can’ think of no-one I’d rather spend it wit’ than any o’ you tonight.” He clamped the stick, unclasped both belt and bandoleer full of grenades and charges and then ejected from the Copter as it jetted towards its target. The explosives, the fire and two gyrocopters that Lazhio devoured in this process was not enough to kill him. That would have been too much to ask. Van cursed this as he floated in the air. But the detonations had been enough to knock his aim off-kilter as his fel-blast of breath unleashed its destruction into the ground. A direct hit would have ended the lives of all those within, and thereby ending the ritual. Instead the blast tore down the wall defending those inside. Exposed at the front Van could spy the plucky death knight he had met at the bar earlier, and beside her stood his employer with his half elf bodyguard. Van stuck out his thumb, though the action was likely foolish as he was too far up to be noticed. Make yer lady proud, Good Magister.
  3. "Rangers, fall back! Join our melee on the ground!" The massive ettin’s club came down upon the tank Sylvia, crushing the metal frame like a can of aluminum in one mighty sweep. As it raised the weapon to finish the job, the gunner managed to eject. One of the heads traced the trajectory of the seat that shot free of the mangled machine. This granted the driver a chance to confirm the fears of his comrades over the comms. “The seat won’t eject.” A second swing descended upon the metal, trapping him inside. “Shit--” His comm cut off into static. Fighting against the undead tide that poured in around the ettin and the shattered remnants of the Port’s gate, a lone female warrior charged and leapt upon the ettin’s hunched back. She struck at the base of one of the creature’s necks to try to halt the onslaught as she held out hope for her comrade’s survival within the twisted form of metal below it. Soon she would be joined by the operator of the Delilah tank, Nokh, who ejected minutes earlier. Though distracting, they merely angered the creature further. “Lora I--” from the static emerged the voice of the lost driver once more, only to be silenced as the steel deathtrap was hammered a third and final time. The carnage of the metal could be heard even as high up as the Captain was. “Ari! ARI!” Was the futile response from the gunner in the sky, hopeless as she watched the man likely killed before her very eyes. “Get off it damnit!” Another voice shouted over the comms. “I’ll shred you if I shoot it!” While the tragedy at the gates played out, the swarm of foes continued to pour into the now vulnerable port to clash with the melee defenders. It looked like utter chaos from up above as magic of all varieties shot across the battlefield, the sounds of blades ringing as they struck metal echoed beyond the howling creatures. “We got a mess down there; help keep our friendlies from gettin’ overwhelmed!” The Captain ordered. “Aim fer whatever passes tha’ gate ta avoid friendly fire!” The gunfire from the copters, while they couldn’t get them all, helped thin the stampede of monsters to a more manageable rate for their soldiers on the ground. Then he heard the heavy fire from the dueling duo that tried to avenge their fallen comrade. He wasn’t the only one, as Dora’s voice issued a new order. “Airfleet, send rescue for those trapped on the ettin!” The creature howled from whatever volley assailed it, one of its heads obliterated from the heavy firepower. The rapid blood loss rushed to claim the life of the monster, leaving the two on precarious footing. Luckily the plated elven woman was quick to react, grabbing the Orc by his armor and leaping as it collapsed upon remnants of the tank, crushing it further. They could handle themselves. “Workin’ on given’ ‘em some breathin’ room there, Boss-Lady.” “This is Gunheya! Moving in!” Once more his wingman swooped out of formation, moving to where he felt he was needed most as he skimmed across the ground where he could hover mere inches above the dirt. Captain Van had to admit, the man had good pilot instincts and the guts to match. “Somebody call for a lift?” He was met with dismissal as the armored woman rolled to safety and waved off their ordered extraction, much to the poor man’s confusion. Instead she rushed back to meet with the gunner who was trying to pry him from the wreckage under the fallen giant. They seemed to debate. “Cap, they ain’t taking the extraction!” So instead he he laid cover fire for them beyond the ruined gates. “Hate ta say it, but tha’ be their funeral then.” The Captain reloaded the feed for his copter’s guns as quickly as he could get back to laying the same for those below so desperately needed it. “We’ll keep on layin’ fire fer ‘em until we’re needed elsewhere or it gets too hot. Ya hear us, Boss Lady?” “Boss! Th...They got Boss Deadeye and Chief Rayfeather strung up on the hills!” A scout announced over the comms. The second name catching the Captain’s, and Frostwhisper’s he was sure, attention. But he couldn’t do anything that might blow his cover for being here, especially not when there was still a battle to win. The armies of the demon hunter-- this Lazhio bastard--were finally beginning to give way as they thinned down to his more powerful creations. Which was a blessing, given how he was starting to discover their munitions were thinning up here as well. “Amalyn, Atheril and I have them, Dora.” The velvet voice of the woman he had met at the bar, Sin...something, crossed his ears with two more names he certainly recognized. Between the Rayfeathers and the fugitives from the ruined tank, he was starting to realize just how prime a spot this port was for the Scryers to place one of their agents. “Roger, Airfleet Leader. MOM! What the--” The current boss of mercenary company regained her composure. “Armor Leader, status!” “I’m gittin’ Ari out! Cover the Port!” The Orcish figure found a spot not covered in Ettin corpse among the wreckage of Sylvia and pulled out a blowtorch to carve into the tank. Undead stragglers before started to make a b-line towards the crew around the wreckage, the woman in armor moved to head them off. “Are they getting anywhere near the building?” No one answered. The ranks had thinned enough for a second attempt at extraction at the gate as Nokh pulled the limp, red stained armored form of his friend out of the wreckage. The gunner was still distraught beyond words. “Oi!” The half-elf Captain shouted when he neared earshot, “Yeh ready fer a lift or are we gonna go engage ‘em some more?” “Pick us up…” The voice of Armor Leader Nokh was almost drowned out by the sounds of the flying machine. “Aye Aye!” Captain Van shouted over the engine of the copter as he threw down a ladder for the trio. “Mates, I need a bit o’ back up here. We got two heavily armored passengers, one a large Orc.” Two pilots began to flank him, one of the rookies giving him a thumbs up. He was rewarded a nod of approval before he turned his attention back to his new cargo. When he thought them properly situated, he’d address them again. “Ready fer liftoff?” Both seemed too down in spirits to respond. After giving them another minute to get comfortable he began his ascent away from the scene. “Alrighty mates, keep on up with tha’ harassment o’ the targets. Large Clusters, minimum friendlies. We ain’t see big ugly yet, so conserve tha’ good stuff if yeh can.” His voice lost some of the playfulness as he returned to the more somber business. “Boss-lady, this is Airfleet Leader, Extraction is successful. Medical attention is required. Do we have a safe-zone or should I get them outta here?” “There’s a buncha medical tents to the south of the port.” The strained voice of Dora responded. “Bring them there.” “Someone please, I need an update.” The voice was much more insistent this time over the communicators. “What is happening out there??” “They’re still pushing. Stay on guard.” “Aye aye, sending ‘em over.” The Captain’s Gyrocopter and escort zipped through the sky towards the designated area. All the while his eyes peered between his new passengers and battlefield below where the shadows began to write and seep into the fallen combatants-- friend and foe alike. Reanimating them for another round of conflict and bolstering the forces of Lazhio once more as they coalesced into renewed pockets of resistance. A few of the pockets managed to push through a flank, heading for their goal: the Command Center. “Some of them have gotten through!” A tauren growled over the comms. “We need a sniper by the command center, don’t let them near it!” “They’re inside. Grenade fucked the stairs to the tower, but I’m clear.” Kreyen, the man who had been manning the cannon atop the zeppelin tower finally reported in after an explosion came from within. “Still have the glider, it’s just a mess below. I have my rifle with me so I’m going to do what I can for as long as I can from up here.” “Did you see if they made it to the main building, yet? I have Vathelan on standby to make an ice wall if they get inside.” “Dora. It’s Kahlan. Caldrien has been eliminated.” Must have been some secondary target the Captain wasn’t privy to. “My father is also on site to reinforce us.” “Well, it looks like I showed up just in time; right as things are starting to go to pot.” Now that was a voice Van recognized from his days back in the Bay. Selash. Selash Gustblade, one of the finest bounty hunters known by the cartels. After this that might be a man worth catching up with, perhaps even offer him employment under similar contracts of his own. “Where do you need me?” “The ranged division needs to get to the command center immediately! If you’re not dead, you better be gunning it for command!” An Orcess snarled these commands before shouting needlessly back into them. “FORM A LINE! GIVE THE RANGED THE TIME THEY NEED!” “Roger that, Kahlan.” Dora’s voice had gotten raspy as the battle raged on, but she remained strong as she relayed the orders in a less hostile way. “Both you and your father should head to the command center.” “I’m a step ahead of you, kid.” The voice of the bounty hunter was calm, collected. He was a professional afterall. “Just going to get a few token pot shots in to thin the lines.” “I’ve recovered Cobrak.” Sinlanna, even in these dire straits had an allure to her. He watched as this small woman dragged the unconscious Orc below them towards the medical tents below them. “He’s being taken in to see medical help now. He’s hurt, but alive.” “They gotta wedge tween the infirmary an’ the command center!” Nokh shouted as he leapt from the descending ladder of the copter, an over-engineered axe in hand as he cut into a foe as he hit the ground. “There’s a few of us pinned down. Protect the wounded!” Another mighty swing, cleaving a few foes before him in twain. “Well, yeh ‘eard ‘em!” The Captain shouted to his escort. “Open fire! Yer boss dies, yeh don’ git paid!” His eyes looked down at the shell shocked woman still coddling her fallen comrade from the tank incident. “‘Oi! Git movin’! We’re in a hotzone over ‘ere!” “Incoming! Somethin’ big is--LOOK OUT!” A scout called over the comms. But it was too late. From beyond the hills came a massive artillery blast of felfire. Like some hellish missile, it slams into the zeppelin tower like a meteor before unleashing an unholy explosion that sent it reeling at its very foundation. A single figure was able to escape the impact, leaping for dear life with but a second of enough time to deploy a goblin glider. But this fraction of hope as two women called out for Kreyen in their frantic tones would last but a mere instant before the debris of the smoldering ruin of what used to be a proud structure swat him out of the air, claiming its prize amongst the felfire and smoke. “Man down! We need a medic by the tower!” The tauren called out. A couple of the rookie pilots called in their response. Van was still stuck with the last two passengers weighing him down. “Come on lass, I gotta go!” He called out in frustration. Still no response. He lowered the copter until he was certain they would be safe here as he unclipped the ladder from his aircraft. “Hate ta do this…” he murmured to noone in particular before tossing the other end overboard away from the the two. He scanned the battlefield once more as he dug out the spare ladder incase it was needed before he called over the radio. “Boss-Lady, if we need it, I can extract the Magister ta start gettin’ ‘em outta here. Jus’ say tha’ word. Fleet, what’s yer status?” “Is the ranged division in place Dora?!” The Angry Orcess continued to shout in between what sounded like gratuitous acts of violence, even here in a warzone. Not that Van was going to judge, really. “We’ve got no time to restock ammo! I’m checking for survivors by the tower!” Gunheya reported as he danced through the air, eliminating another airborne threat that chased him with a pair of rockets. Those were meant to be saved for the bigger threat, meaning he was running on the last of what he had on board. “We’ve secured command, Shokkra.” So that was the pissed off Orcess’ name. “We need as many to the defense of the command as available, Captain. They stay! Gun, inform me the moment you have news.” “Wounded don’ do yeh much good,” the Captain retorted as he flew back into the combat zone. “But tha’ be yer call…” he trailed off as he saw the looming silhouette through the smoke and ruin of the gate. Something massive had approached, something large enough to threaten to dwarf that ettin from before. It looked to be well over ten men tall, and more like one of them Pitlords than the elf that he had been hired on to eliminate. Were his eyes playing tricks on him, or was it really him? Had he finally made his appearance? Van’s hand lingered over the button to call it in. “...um…” “CONFIRMED SIGHTING! LAZHIO IS HERE! I REPEAT! LAZHIO IS HERE!”
  4. The Port was restless as they awaited the forces that were sure to be lured out of hiding as those within the building furthest from the gate worked their ritual. Below, on this quiet morning that bled into noon, all that could be heard was purring of machinery and the occasional shifting of armor. Seconds felt like minutes, and minutes felt like hours. The illusion was alluring, making the Sultry Maiden brand cigarette between his lips a lightsend of a lifeline as they sat grounded awaiting the action. “Did we remember to send out invitations?” They might have gotten the wrong time!” Gunheya’s voice crackled to life in their subchannel for the pilots to speak in. “Easy now, mate.” Van chuckled as he exhaled some of the smoke. “Keep an’ eye out, or two if yeh ‘ave ‘em, peeled. We ain’t wanna get caught with our pants down.” He took another drag, but it would be cut short as a new voice would appear with in it with urgent news. “Movement on the road.” From the far reaches of their vision, even beyond their fortification the black tide began to wash over the horizon. “Well. Shit.” The Captain spoke to no one in particular. As the tide of foes poured down the lands of these Highlands figures started to emerge. Creatures shambled with eyes of Death Knight blue; draconoids, ogres, cultist garbed in Twilight’s Hammer apparel and varying beasts of shape and size came to bear against the port. Their lumbering figures moved with great haste, seeming to give little heed as they triggered the mines beneath their feet. The numbers seemed limitless, marching over their dead brethren. Behind them a similarly dark cloud brewed with the storming sounds of beating wings. Van started to flip switches for takeoff and to prep his weapons. They were rapidly approaching, quickly overtaking the ground forces. “Airfleet, drakes in sight.” The voice of Dora Arath’dorei sounded in his ear. “Aye Aye.” The Captain spoke to his commanding officer before switching back to address his miniature fleet. “All right mates, we need to get them drake outta ta’ air! Watch yer buddy’s back, I wanna see all yeh after this battle at tha’ bar! First round on me!” “Roger that!” Gunheya shouted through the radio, already opening fire as he ascended in an attempt to draw the drake’s attention from the wall as he shot past them and turned to engage. “What th’ fu--” Captain Van murmured under his breath, and certainly not on the radio as he went in pursuit of his wingman. “What part o’ watch yer buddy’s back… fuckin’ orcs…” The vile horde of monstrosities continued their onslaught towards the Port, only gaining ground as the mines below them became spent. The more agile of the creatures weaved past the spikes that lay in wait, the larger knocking them loose from the ground. Rendering them useless. Soon they were within range of fire, even before Van could reach the pilot that had slipped within the swarming mass above the ground. Both were lost within its depths as the call was made. The sounds of their gunfire lost in the screams and roars of the enemy. “Now, Rangers!” It opened with a salvo of deafening roar and explosive shots that struck at the heart of this oncoming horde. A particularly large Ogre was the first to begin to seal this clearing, only for another round to rip through its skull and spray its compatriots with bone shards and gore. It staggered and fell, trampled by more forces keen on barrelling towards the gate that was guarded by two specially crafted tanks codenamed Delilah and Sylvia. Delilah fired with its main gun as missiles rocketed haphazardly into the mass battleground, forcing Van to take evasive maneuvers. Sylvia sprayed rapid fire from above and shot missiles of radiant light into the masses of foes. “Shit. Shit. Shit!” The Captain shouted as he dodged a missle that hit far too close to him for comfort. He had lost sight of Gunheya, making him cautious in each small burst of fire in the sky. Flaming arrows would and payloads from the demolishers would soon too be within the sky with them. As the arrows touched down upon the ground the oil caught flame creating a wall of fire that the Captain would dip towards to get away from more fire for him to get his bearings. Every three seconds one of the cannons took down something he wished he could call significant. An alarm buzzed upon his console about a potential overheating. He couldn’t stay here, especially if another wave of fire came from the port like that again. He would have to regroup with his less experienced pilots to give them cover and hope for the best for the Orc within the storm of drakes. Flying up and away from the flames, another drake-- this one black rushed to brutally slaughter something that was in pursuit of him. “Black Dragons? I thought they were all gone…” His train of thought was interrupted by the cacophony of explosions below him. A quick glance below told him the basic story of what had happened. The seemingly endless horde of monsters had pushed through the killzone of the tanks and heavy artillery and stumbled into another line of traps laid hidden for the invading force. Normally Van might consider this effective, but in this battle it seemed they were only delaying the inevitable. No matter how hard their line of defense held, the monsters were advancing. Another salvo of missiles flew from Tank Delilah, bringing down another set of ogres. Still they advanced over their fallen comrades. And still there was no sign of the Demon Hunter behind all of this. “Handbag needs a hand! 9 o’clock!” Gunheya brought his attention back to the skies as he reappeared in view before falling in line behind the Half-elf Captain. “We have aerial unit coming from the north across the sea!” The radio cut in. He could only assume it was from the anti-aircraft gun that was rapidly firing to keep undead griffins and drakes from entering Port airspace proper. “Roger.” The Captain spoke over the radio, on both accounts. “Cop’ers six through twelve, give the north some help. Mate, yeh keep up tha’ good work there and let’s go help tha’ ‘handbag’ of yers.” Before any smart retort could be made back, the swarm of Drakes struck back with a renewed vigor. What had given them such, neither of the pilots that once again pierced past the walls into harm’s way could tell. The others remained behind firing from their safe distance. “Engaging drakes!” Gunheya nearly shouted as he took evasive maneuvers, tilting his copter sideways and downward. He opened fire in controlled bursts. Each tearing through the wings of drakes and sending them plummeting back towards the mucky ground and the invading force. The second shot fired from the zeppelin tower, plowing its shell through the entirety of an unfortunate drake as it hurled for the trenches. Then it detonated below, heaving the contents of the much filled trench and the bodies it collected into the air. As well as the light forged shrapnel that teared through those nearby. Forcing both pilots that were engaged with the enemy to have to veer away in sharp ascents to avoid the aftermath of the blast. “HOLY SHIT!” Howled the ecstatic orc. The feeling was not mirrored by the Captain, though he remained silent. “DO THAT AGAIN!” “Dora! They’re gettn’ through the first defense!” A different orc shouted over the radio. An ogre had made it through the kill zone, through the mines and through the trenches and struck the first blow against Delilah's plating, denting it. “Hey! Back off!” He shouted even louder before the flame vents ignited to purge those first forces that made it this far. From the backlines of the invading forces, a silhouette more prominent than any beforehand-- mostly due to its size-- trampled the lesser, downed, forces as it used their corpses as a pathway on its rampage towards the gate. Larger and larger the figure loomed, forcing the Captain to wonder if this was their target. He couldn’t get a good look between the dogfights and dodging of potential friendly-fire. It wasn’t until the orc in the tank called out the ID that he was certain it wasn’t the main threat itself. “ALL CANNONS FOCUS ON THE ETTIN! Bring it DOWN!” For all the shouting, his voice over the radio was threatened to be drowned out by all the cannonfire. “Nokh, prepare to fall back!” Dora commanded before another barrage of arrows and bullets ripped through the lesser forces that still threatened to overwhelm them. This would hopefully give the heavy artillery some room to deal with the priority target. “All right mate, Skies are our priority, but if yeh ain’t drake huntin’, aim yer fire at tha’ ground. Harass ‘em!” The Half-Elf would follow suit, pointing his own copter downward as the skies had started to clear up from their hard work. He opened fire at the enemies down below. A drake sensed the reduced threat from him and sought to take advantage. It was in for a nasty surprise as he unclasped his holster. “More we do up here, less they gotta worry ‘bout down there!” He took aim with his revolver and fired a round through the creature’s eye when it was within range, giving it a final death. As the Ettin made its way for the tanks that guarded the gates, the sheer size of the monster would finally be apparent. It would be lucky to fit through them, for they were of at least equal measure. Both tanks tried to desperately unload their entire armory within the creature, as did the heavy artillery guns upon the towers. But it seemed to do little good. For even assaulted as it was, it was quickly upon them. The first swing went right over the tanks and ripped the gate down, unleashing debris at the defenders behind. After a particularly nasty shot from the Tank codenamed Sylvia, it was the next to feel its wrath. “All armor, EJECT! ARI, LORA Git otta there!” Shouted the orc from the other tank, this Nokh that had been told to prepare for a retreat just moments earlier. His chair ejected from Delilah as he followed his own advice. " They've breached the gate. Fall back to phase two!"
  5. The day of the Siege of Dragonsroost Port was finally upon them. In these few final hours before the action started, the combined forces of Sanctuary and Borrowed Time bustled to make the last preparations. Their lives, and those whom would fall victim should they fall, were at stake. Among these people was the acting mercenary and reportedly retired Scryer Agent, Captain Raphael Vanderzee, hired upon by a desperate Magister that held back in the final line of defense. After finishing the side objective of delivering a way out for the acting leader of the Borrowed Time company, someone his newest employer had shown a particular softness for, he weaved through the forces fortifying their stand against what seemed like an impossible foe. This Demon Hunter named Lazhio. Someone who managed to absorb the power of countless wizards and demons, and allied with others to bolster his forces. His head was already giving him sympathy aches in preparation for the magic that was sure to saturate the very air around him. He opened his flask, its contents hissing in protest as he took a sizable swig of the blue liquid inside before sealing it once more. He had a job to do, and he mentally prepared himself as he made his way up the Zeppelin tower. From here he could see how much effort went into the fortifications. Access from the sea would prove troublesome, given the the blockades and barriers erected. But it was from the land that the tacticians of Borrowed Time seemed to betting their foe would assault from. Outside the gates lay trenches and wooden spikes seemed to stretch their reach towards the land’s horizon. Before the gate proper, stood two tanks sandwiched between towers where their ranged forces coalaced between the two locations. Behind them, after a wall of barrels that Vanderzee could only assume were explosive lay the next line of defense. A handful of Demolishers lay in wait with other siege weapons followed by the bulk of their forces. Their armor gleamed in the evening sun, making it hard to make any reliable count. And so he didn’t bother as he made his final turn towards the small crew of pilots that awaited him. He nodded towards the Orc, the one looking most capable of the group. “So, ‘ow many of yeh we got?” “Looks like a few rookie pilots plus me, you, and Captain Nawe.” The Orc he would come to learn later was named Gunheya reported as he slid his flight goggles over his eyes. “Checked up and good to go on your signal.” “Huh. Little light then, but we’ll make do.” He nodded. The would have to, it seemed. And it was bad form to bitch while on the job… especially when he was raking in as much as he was from being planted here. Three different parties at that. Assuming the Magister survived this encounter. His revealed eye traveled the distance behind him to where the fortifications funneled towards-- the place where the bait lay: The stones. And on this last line of defense stood as a final act of defiance, remained his most visible and kindest employer. He climbed within his own copter where he strapped on his fight gear before deftly sliding his eye-patch upon his forehead. After a final check he primed the vehicle. When the engine ignited, his stead vibrated as he lit a final cigarette. The fun was about to start, he should say something. “All right mates, we await the pretty lady’s word. When we get it, we give ‘em Fel!” That should be good enough. “Airfleet Leader, ready?” That was quick, didn’t even get to finish my smoke. The Captain activated his receiver and gave a small chuckle. “And speak o’ tha Songbird! We’re ready when yeh are, Boss-lady!” The Defense Leader checked in. As did the Ranger Leader. Showtime was here, accentuated by one final speech from the Arath’dorei girl. "Everyone, know that I am honored that I have been able to be of service to all of you as a leader. To our allies who have joined us, I thank you for your presence and support here today. To all our friends and family, I am so proud to see how many of us have risen to the occasion. I couldn't be more grateful to be surrounded by so many talented, inspirational folks. Having said that, let's kick butt. Command, you have my authorization to start the ritual."
  6. The already dim lighting of the foreman’s office flickered with the rhythm of the hydraulic presses within the munitions factory below as the sounds of the machines at work would comfortably drown out any unwanted noise inside well before it could be detected by those whom resided in a proximity of the building. With each wax and wane of the lighting the shadows threatened to consume the triad of the office. Two were goblins tied to chairs facing parallel to each other; one a sobbing female, the other an older and unconscious male. Between his captives was the final occupant of the room, a looming monster of a man. It was nigh impossible to distinguished where his silhouette ended and the room began thanks to his dark attire and features. With each flicker the girl tried to get a better look of him as she pleaded for asylum from what malice this imposing figure had planned for them. Though he seemed, for better or for worse, to pay her no mind for what seemed like ages as he shuffled through paperwork from the cracked safe on the wall behind her father’s desk. No matter what she said, what she tried to bargain-- the man didn’t acknowledge her existence since her bondage to the chair. That was, until her father finally stirred from his repose. He groaned as he tried to get his bearings, his hands pulling at his binds before he froze. The realization of his predicament had taken hold. “Shit. Look, we don’t want any trouble… take whatever you want and just… please, don’t hurt us!” “Funny, she said somethin’ similar,” the stranger’s voice was rough, and though the accent was faded, the hint of the Bay lingered. The glove grasped for the revolver that lay beside him, his face turning towards the goblins. The beard made it hard to read his jawline in the dark. The lightless, mixed-matched eyes were a different story. “Problem with that though. You see, if I take your meager stash here… still don’t rightly un-pissoff my boss.” “Boss? Who--Fuck!” The elder of the captives began to thrash in his chair as unleashed an onslaught of curses at his own misfortune. Of all people for them to send… it was the man who was supposed to have died five years ago. “Yes, my boss, the one you sold counterfeit shards of Frostmourne to? And he’s rightly pissed off about it; so much so that I’ve been having to hunt your little start-up cartel to find a way to soothe his temper. And you’re going to help me find a way to do so.” The man picked up a revolver from the counter behind him, he moved in deliberate motions as to ensure his audience could see what he was doing. His right hand dragged a box of bullets where the bound duo could see. The branding indicated it was from this very factory. He unlatched the cylinder and began to load the chambers as he continued his little speech, each sentence accentuated with a new bullet. “He ain’t really a pleasant man when pissed off, this makes my job harder. And by making my job harder, you’ve pissed me off. So, today we’re going to be playing a little game from the good ol’ days.” “That’s what this is about?” The gentleman, if you could call him that, bound to the chair gave a forced laugh. “This… this is all a misunderstanding! We sent one of our boys to deliver the goods, and he ran off with ‘em! Oh that bastard...” “I think you misheard me, we received the product, what was delivered was not what was promised. So we’re going to see if all the products you produce are of poorer quality than what you advertise, or if we’re a special case. Tell me, have you heard of the game Ratchet Roulette?” Neither goblin immediately answered the man’s question, electing to exchange looks for a couple moments instead as the tried to devise a way out of this mess through silent expressions. Then the dangerous man from the Bay got impatient, setting the last two bullets in his gun and clicking the cylinder in place and pointing it at the girl. So the elderly of the two spoke up, “Yeah! I do! But Van… please, let the girl go. She ain’t got nothin’ to do with this…” “Better come up with somethin’ to please the boss then. And quick, you’re already late on your shipment to the Horde as is.” He pulled back the hammer, taking careful aim on the youngest of his two captives. The elder behind him was stammering as he tried to come up with something. “Then we’ll start with the line of questioning. Refusal to answer, I fire. A lie, I fire. Where did the shards come from?” There was no clear answer, just more stammering. He was given thirty seconds to respond before the trigger was pulled. He had aimed for her shoulder, but the bullet struck the gobliness in the neck. Behind him the man meekly cried at the horror of both the gunshot and the sight of his daughter quickly bleeding out as the projectile had struck an artery, causing a flood of her red life fluids to pour like a fountain. “...Shoddy ammo.” The rogue noted before giving a wicked laugh as he turned to point the gun at one of the man’s kneecaps. “Turns out we weren’t a special case after-all! Well, I suppose you should count yourself lucky I found you before the new Warchief… I hear she is known to be quite cruel to those who cross her. Now, I’ll ask again… where did you find the shards you sold us?” “Why did you kill her!? She wasn’t part of this! Why?!” The elderly goblin shrieked in grief. Another non-answer to the question asked. With a sigh, the man spun the cylinder and then shot another bullet. The rogue waited until the scream of agony died down before he spoke again. “Shh. Easy now. From one grieving father to another, I don’t like doing this… I know your pain. But if you don’t tell me what I need to know, he’s going to send me after the rest of your family. I’ll have to line them up as I did you and her, and play this game with them until either I get what I need to ease his anger… or he’ll take solace in knowing all of those stupid sons of bitches that tried to scam him are dead, and that the message was well received by anyone else with the bright idea to cross us. So, I’ll ask again.” He used his thumb to roll the chamber once more to prove his point. “The shards you sold us, where did you find them?” “...Icecrown.” “Where in Icecrown? The Citadel or the area surrounding it?” The goblin remained silent on the matter, leaving his interrogator to give a sigh as he made the motion to spin the chambers once more. He pulled the hammer back before asking the question again. “Where in Icecrown did you find it?” No answer. Van pulled the trigger once more, another bullet was fired into the goblin, his last healthy kneecap. He spoke over the screams of the goblin. “And now you’re probably never going to walk again, you stupid mother fucker. All because you think putting on a brave face is going to save you. It’s not. You have a three and eight chance next time of losing an arm, and then you’ll be running out of appendages. So please, do yourself a favor and tell me what I want to know… see your kids again. What fucking part of Icecrown did you find the shards you sold us?” “At the gates! We found them laying next to a powerful death knight after the battle! We thought we could use it to make some money, get out from Gallywix’s thumb. Please, you have to understand, he tried to use us as slaves!” “Who was in on this? I need names.” The goblin opened his mouth to protest, the man twirled the revolver’s chambers to silence him before putting it to the elbow left elbow of the goblin. “Tell me who your associates were, sell them out to save your own life and limb. They did it to you.” “...Kankle Bentdust, Jord Brightbreak,” the elderly goblin looked away from his interrogator in shame as he started to list names, “Gezmi Fusehammer, Benk and Klek Slicksmile…” “Dead, dead, dead and dead. Who else?” He pulled back the hammer. “Nanak Dullbulb… Memi Niftfingers…” “Also dead. Go on.” “Neshma…” “Last name?” “...I can’t. They trusted me, they were business partners.” “Have it your way.” He pulled the trigger, the goblin flinched with a whimper. But nothing happened. Just an audible click. “You lucked out… this time. Do you think you’ll be as lucky if I pull the trigger again? Eh?” Whatever the response from his captive, it was lost in the sudden burst of encoded beeps within the interrogator's right ear: - .... . / ... ..- -. / .-. .. ... . ... --..-- / - .... . / ... .- .. .-.. --- .-. ... / ... . . -.- / - .... . / .- .-.. -... .- - .-. --- ... … He gave a growling, “Shut up. I’ll be back with you in just a moment,” before heading back to his original position that overlooked the factory. He took out some sort of mechanical device and tapped in a response in some unknown code. - .... . / .- .-.. -... .- - .-. --- ... ... / ... .. -. --. ... / - .... . / ... .- .. .-.. --- .-. .----. ... / ... .... .- -. - -.-- Almost instantly a replay came. .-. . - ..- .-. -. / - --- / .--. --- .-. - --..-- / .- / ... - --- .-. -- / .. ... / --- -. / - .... . / .... --- .-. .. --.. --- -. .-.-.- / .- -. --- - .... . .-. / ... .... .. .--. / -.-. .-.. .- .. -- ... / - .... .. ... / -... --- ..- -. - -.-- .-.-.- For a few minutes the rogue stood before the device, staring at it intently as he tried to decide his next course of action. Behind him, his captive groaned from the pain his wounds inflicted. Van tapped the grip of his revolver for another moment before holstering the weapon and collecting the things on the surface he had been using as his operations table for this mission, the documents included. He sent one more message before departing the office, to make his passage out of the factory and towards his extraction point. - .... . / .- .-.. -... .- - .-. --- ... ... / - .- -.- . ... / .. - ... / ..-. .-.. .. --. .... - .-.-.- “About time you left, I thought you were going to hog all the fun.” A baritone voice spoke to the left of Van as he stepped out of the factory. The rancid stench of Bloodthistle was quick to follow. “Looks like you’ve had plenty of ‘fun’ already.” He nodded at the shorter elf, covered and caked in dried blood. He didn’t want to ask what that was about. “Family’s gone, I want a set.” The Baritone voice said causally, the blood cracking at the corners of his mouth as he grinned before he dropped the paper-wrapped herbs he was smoking onto the floor. He gave it a solid stomp before he started to head into the factory, only to be stopped for the moment by the man leaving. “Easy now. We own this property, Ky--” “Kyrous died with his sister. You’ll remember that, if you know what’s good for you.” He shoved his way past the rogue and into the darkness of the factory proper, leaving his compatriot alone outside. “...I tried.” The rogue finally found words to express himself as he looked up towards the polluted sky, pulling his eye-patch that had been lost in his dark hair back down onto his human eye. He pulled out his pack of Sultry Maiden cigarettes, lit one and headed once more towards his extraction point. He had a long flight ahead of him, might as well get started.
  7. At last the first dawn of the turning tides had arrived. The streets of Dalaran were once again filled with those brave men and women who wanted to take the fight to the enemy, no longer content taking a defensive stance against a foe that threatened the entirety of the world. The stakes, as it seemed to always be, raised from what they were in the past of course. What was once fear of enslavement in death about four years ago, was now a struggle against total annihilation. But some things never changed. This wasn’t any more obvious than beneath the feet of these heroes; under the streets of the city of wonders and magic was the ever present seedy underbelly of the underworld that seated itself in its labyrinthine sewers. One could argue, that regardless the city or circumstance, there were always opportunities to ply shady trades if one wished if one could capitalize on such. The Sewers during the campaign against the Legion proved that point, really. With the right amount of charisma and coin, the seemingly racially ambiguous man had convinced the guard to look the other way and effectively rent an area beyond a grating that delved even further into the depths of the tunnel network. This left the man of dubious affiliation and his contact out of sight and out of mind—perfect for their business. The hour agreed upon for his contact to meet for the transaction had not yet occurred, giving him but a brief few moments of privacy. That of which he would find much to his distaste in a keeled over position as his body forcibly tried to remove any hint of his breakfast. He was fortunate that the cloth designed to cover his facial features had been pulled down to his chin in time as he murmured obscenities to himself for the futility of trying to sate his appetite so soon after the movement of this damnable city. “Fucking Wizards…” In his ear came the vibration that someone, presumably his client, had crossed the threshold of the parameter. He would have company soon. His hands quickly grasped his hipflask, his fingers working to twist off the cap to hear the heavenly hiss of its contents. He would take a swig of the mixture though he knew it was likely in vain before pulling back up the cloth. This ensured, including the goggles, the mask would censor his face from his client’s discerning eyes as he awaited them to round the corner. “Nice place.” It took less than a minute for his client to round the corner, a goblin as he had been warned about. With him he carried a metal case cuffed to his right side. It seemed they had brought the merchandise as promised. Good. “What? Couldn’t afford a Parlor Suite?” “Too obvious. Too many eyes.” The agent shook his head. “I assume that is the merchandise?” “Maybe. You have the gold?” The Goblin grinned. The Agent’s fingers were deft in the movement, quickly procuring a golden ingot from a pocket on his person. He held it up so that the light shimmered upon the bar, the faint look of a stern-faced sun could be discerned from the motion. “We have a whole pallet of these for you, in our vault with a device that will allow you to carry it out of there with ease. All you need do is to present the key to the banker, and she’ll handle the rest. Now… you have the shards?” The goblin lifted the metal case. “Show me.” “Alright, Alright. No trust in this industry anymore, I swear.” The goblin flashed a grin as he rolled the dials on either side of the case and set a key into the center before opening it to show the agent its contents. The tunnel they were in would suddenly get significantly colder. A good sign. The Agent would slowly approach the case, tapping the side of his goggle as he hummed, trying to observe the shards in spite of the growing fog from the temperature differences. “Seems we have a deal.” “Not so fast.” The goblin slammed the case closed. He flashed another grin, “The Ebon Blade said they would pay double what you offered… Can you match that?” “We have done some shopping around for buyers, have we?” The Agent’s lips twisted in a grin, one that would be invisible to the goblin. He recognized the face of this bastard all right. Gently the Agent placed the bar in the Goblin’s hand. “Then we’ll give you two pallets. My employer is far too interested in this artifact to let it slip from his fingers. I’m sure he’ll understand.” The Goblin gripped at the bar, his grin growing larger as he played with the weight of it. It seemed solid enough, a good personal cut on the deal. The amount of coins that a skilled minter could make out of a bar… it proved quite worthwhile. “Then my employer will be pleased as well. I think we have ourselves a deal.” A clean transaction, if a bit costly. The Agent handed over the key to the vault promising two pallets stacked his height of gold ingots; the Goblin handed over the metal case containing shards of a legendary blade. Both were to part ways now, the Agent allowed the Goblin first departure. Behind the goggles he watched as the goblin was nearing the corner, his hand reaching for his revolver. “…There seems a problem.” The Goblin stopped, his mind racing where this transaction could have gone wrong. Had he proven too greedy? His eyes tried to look at the man behind him, but couldn’t get a good look from this position. Reluctantly he turned about face on his heel—only to see a revolver pointed at him. “Whoa, whoa, there buddy… let’s not do anything we’d regret now! Eh?” His hand reached for the streets above him to show he meant no harm. The pistol within the Agent’s left hand was firmly aimed at the Goblin’s skull, at this range it was a guaranteed kill. He was scared. Good. His right hand reached for the goggles, plying them from his face, revealing the mismatched eyes. “No! You’re supposed to be dead!” The Agent said nothing, his gloved finger gently applying pressure upon the trigger. “Ah shit.” The gunfire cracked the tense air, its sound rumbling down either side of the tunnel as the green bastard’s brain matter splattered on the wall behind him. With a short stride the Agent searched the corpse to recover both the key and the ingot. His cut for the transaction after all, he wasn’t sure if he was going to take it until now. He slid the bar into one of the many pockets of his gear before fishing out a handful of gold coins, throwing them in a rolling fashion to the direction the Goblin was headed. Either they would make their destined target, those who allowed this meeting to happen—or whoever finally came to dispose of the smell would find them, and decide that this was not worth looking into. Either way, it didn’t matter. The money would do the talking and he would go about his business onto his next mission. He returned his revolver to his holster, before making an about face to delve further into the pipeline. Satisfied with the outcome, one hand pulled at the mask once more to reveal a smirk as he took out a single cigarette from its pack. After lighting it, he took out a curious device, pressing into it in an odd rhythm. - .-. .- -. ... .- -.-. - .. --- -. / -.-. --- -- .--. .-.. . - . .-.-.- / - .- .-. --. . - / -.- .. .-.. .-.. . -.. .-.-.- / .... . .- -.. . -.. / - --- / .-. . -. -.. . --.. ...- --- ..- ... .-.-.-
  8. Raphael Vanderzee was on the crow’s nest enjoying the setting sun, he hummed the tune he so enjoyed as a sailor as he drank his rum. How he enjoyed the salted breeze of the sea… Then something moved from the corner of his eye. Two somethings. People. Slowly and quietly, Van stepped into the shadows gripping his rapiers. Bloodsail Bastards. “Visca! Visca!” The shorter one called out in a violent challange. Though Van wasn't Draco, but he'd be happy to oblige these two... The other remained silent, looking for something, a plan… “Die!!!” Van shouted as he revealed himself, using full force with the blunt handle of his weapon. The taller one ducked in time, saving him the assault to the back of his head. At the same time, the scrying device launched itself from its host in the violent movement. “Visca! I know you’re—“ “Shut up!” Van screamed lunging for the other one, who parried the first blade of Van’s before getting stabbed in the ribs with the other through the chain mail. Velorne gasped, before ordering Aetheril with, “Heal me, you idiot!” Attracting the gaze of the enraged Captain, who sent a strong and swift throwing dagger at him. Though it barely scratched the Knight, it got the point across. “No one is going to save you,” he said in a sadistic tone, “Yer not goin ta leave this place, not alive.” “Try it.” Before another sharp gasp as Van struck him in his shoulder, “Arrg!!” “Glad ta.” He smirked as he jabbed another blade into the underside of the right knee. He snarled at Velorne who gave Aetheril a horrified look. “You… lied to me!” Again Van glanced over to see the elf still well, only clutching his arm. This time, Van charged the man, swinging his blade at his virtually unwounded enemy, cutting him at the knees to keep him from running. As he was about strike him down, Velorne felt the need for vengeance… knocking the Van down with his shoulder. Van had to think fast, drawing two more daggers to stab into the man’s exposed collar line. Once. Twice. Thrice. Then the Knight finally fell on top of Van, dead. Aetheril, was playing dead, squinting to appear knocked out as Van pushed his enemy off him. One problem solved… but a new arisen. Van would kick the young knight in the head to make sure he was knocked out as he dragged him into the depths of the ship… slowly, deliberately. --------------------------------------------------- The time would be impossible to tell when Aetheril felt cold water splashed upon his face, “Awake, are we?” The sadistic voice asked, taunting. Aetheril squinted as he tried to make out his captor. “I’ve got a present fer ya…” He brought a red hot dagger from a metal case of coals close enough to his victim’s neck for him to feel the searing heat without the harm. “Not before Draco approves this, which he won’t.” A voice interrupted. “Yeh better hope Glow-face comes soon, before I get impatient.” And behind the elf, which was tied to a pole, was left alone… locked in a door, without any hope but the mercy of a known terrorist.
  9. ((Ok, So I've meant to post something here for some time... But I've fallen so far behind that I need to contininue on. This is a space saved for it, anyways... any reader (if there really are any) should know this much: Sah and Van had a celebration when they learned that Sah concived. Draco dissapeared at said party Draco's been hiding in Silvermoon in disguise trying to take care of some things. ))